Fifty years ago today, the Beatles pulled off something that is yet to be equaled (or even close to be equaled). They had the top five songs on the Billboard singles chart.
Beatlemania had been building since early February with their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show but it peaked with the chart of April 4, 1964 when the top five was Can't Buy Me Love, Twist and Shout, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand and Please Please Me. The closest anyone has come since was the weeks of March 12 and 19, 2005 when 50 Cent held three of the top five and one of those three was a record by the Game on which he guested.
In addition, according to Billboard, Can't Buy Me Love jumped from 27 to 1, a record for biggest leap to the top of the Singles chart that stood until 2002 when Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This went from 52 to 1 in the wake of her win on the first season of American Idol.
One of the major factors that allowed the Fab Four to have so many different hits at one time, beyond the general mania, was the fact that their music was being released on four different labels. The band had broken huge in the U.K. the previous year and their music was offered to U.S. companies, especially Capitol, but they were rejected allowing companies like Swan, Vee Jay and Tollie to sweep in and buy up the initial recordings.
In 1964, singles were normally issued by companies one at a time with occasional overlap as one record dropped down the chart while the new one ascended. With four companies issuing Beatles records there was four times the product at a time when their initial popularity was peaking.
Overall, they had twelve singles on the chart that week with the rest below the top 30:
•31. I Saw Her Standing There
•41. From Me To You
•46. Do You Want to Know A Secret
•58. All My Loving
•65. You Can't Do That
•68. Roll Over Beethoven
•79. Thank You Girl
Throw in the top two albums and you have an unprecedented dominance of the U.S. record charts.
Beyond the top five by the Beatles there were a host of other records that have gone on to be classics and staples of oldies radio from Betty Everett, the Dave Clark Five, the Four Seasons, the Temptations, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye and others.
The top twenty Singles for the week ending April 4, 1964:
1.Can't Buy Me Love - Beatles
2.Twist and Shout - Beatles
3.She Loves You - Beatles
4.I Want to Hold Your Hand - Beatles
5.Please, Please Me - Beatles
6.Suspicion - Terry Stafford
7.Hello, Dolly - Louis Armstrong
8.The Shoop Shoop Song - Betty Everett
9.My Heart Belongs to Only You - Bobby Vinton
10.Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five
11.Dawn (Go Away) - Four Seasons
12.The Way You Do the Things You Do - Temptations
13.Fun, Fun, Fun - Beatles
14.Don't Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man) - Serendipity Singers
15.Needles and Pins - Searchers
16.Stay - Four Seasons
17.Kissin' Cousins - Elvis Presley
18.You're a Wonderful One - Marvin Gaye
19.Java - Al Hirt
20.High-Heel Sneakers - Tommy Tucker
The Beatles were joined in the top ten albums by mainly easy listening artists:
1.Meet the Beatles - Beatles
2.Introducing the Beatles - Beatles
3.Honey in the Horn - Al Hirt
4.Hello, Dolly! - Louis Armstrong
5.Barbra Streisand/The Third Album - Barbra Streisand
6.In the Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary
7.Yesterday's Love Songs - Today's Blues - Nancy Wilson
8.There! I've Said It Again - Bobby Vinton
9.Peter, Paul and Mary - Peter, Paul and Mary
10.Charade - Henry Mancini
Topping the other charts:
•R&B Singles - There was no R&B Singles chart between November 30, 1963 and January 23, 1965
•R&B Albums - The top R&B Albums did not start until 1965
•Country Singles - Understand Your Man - Johnny Cash
•Country Albums - Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash
•Adult Contemporary Single - Hello, Dolly! - Louis Armstrong
•Great Britain - Little Children - Billy J. Kramer
•Australia - Roll Over Beethoven - Beatles
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